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Preview: Blackhawks vs. Hurricanes

Canes open four-game homestand

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

As the North Carolina State Fair nears the end of its run, the Carolina Hurricanes open a four-game homestand when they host the Chicago Blackhawks in a Saturday matinee.

The Hurricanes, who were handed their first overtime loss in Columbus on Thursday, are 3-1-0 at PNC Arena, where they haven't played a game in two weeks.

The First 10

Through the first 10 games of the 2019-20 season, the Hurricanes are 6-3-1 (13 points), an exact match of their record through the first 10 games of the 2018-19 campaign.

The Canes began this season with five consecutive wins but have since posted a 1-3-1 record.

"It's not been consistent enough for me," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said after practice on Friday. "At times, it's perfect, but then we just don't seem to quite have enough consistency with our whole game."

When the Canes have been on their game, they've been really good. Take the first period from Thursday night in Columbus, for instance, when the Canes promptly answered the Blue Jackets' opening strike before adding two more goals to build a multi-goal lead on the road.

But, when the Canes have been on their heels a bit, things haven't gone well. Take the second period from Thursday night, again, when the Blue Jackets controlled play, outshooting (15-3) and outscoring (2-0) the Canes in the middle frame.

"It was a terrible period. We had a great first period. Came out and did everything we were supposed to do," Brind'Amour said. "We played a good first period on the road, and the third period was fine. It was our second period, we just got away. We need to find a way to maintain how we're playing. We've had stretches in games where it's gotten away from us, and it's cost us the game. That's what happened there. That second period wasn't good enough to win, and it cost us the game."

Gibbons Back in Raleigh

The Hurricanes recalled forward Brian Gibbons from Charlotte on Friday afternoon. Gibbons played in his first two games as a Hurricane in California, logging a shot on goal in a combined 21:15 of ice time.

PROJECTED LINEUP

Gibbons' recall gives the Canes a full complement of forwards after the team opted to dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen in their last two games.

The Opposition

The Blackhawks opened the season overseas in Prague, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL Global Series. The Blackhawks then returned stateside for a seven-game homestand, during which the team posted a 2-3-2 record. Former Hurricane Calvin de Haan has played in six games and recorded an assist.

"It really doesn't matter who you play. Certain teams do things a little different, but at the end of the day, you have to play to your style," Brind'Amour said. "If you don't do that, it makes it tough."


AT THE RINK

Give yourselves plenty of time to get to PNC Arena, just in case of fair traffic. Parking lots open at 8:30 a.m., and it's never a bad idea to arrive early. It should be a beautiful morning, after all. A South Plaza Party kicks off the day's festivities at 10 a.m. just outside the box office, and the doors open at 11:30 a.m.

Tweet from @Canes: Can't wait to see you tomorrow, #Canes fans 🙌Leave yourself extra time on account of the @NCStateFair 🎡 pic.twitter.com/cL2eBz2SB3

Oh! And R&D Brewing's Storm Brew lager is available in 16 oz. cans for just $5 beginning today - and for every home game the rest of the season.


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